After spending mucho time working in the kitchen with tomatoes yesterday, those sealing pop-pop sounds were very satisfying for a canner to hear! I ended up with 8 jars of salsa plus two zip-lock bags to freeze. I think Hannah will be pleased with the to-do items that have gotten crossed off her list since she's been away.
But I still have half a counter full of tomatoes to use up which have a few blemishes and a rotten spot here or there and aren't suitable to use for canning. I was checking out a local herb farm website and ran across a recipe that might be just the thing for the remaining tomatoes.
It's Creamy Tomato Soup (adapted from "Gardeners' Community Cookbook," by Victoria Wise, Smith & Hawken 1999).
1 large onion, chopped
2- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 cups tomatoes, chopped, juices reserved
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
10- 12 fresh basil leaves, torn
One leafy sprig each fresh thyme and oregano, leaves stripped from stems
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
Sour cream (optional)
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until fragrant and soft, 8- 10 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes, potatoes and broth and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt, a pinch of sugar if desired and freshly ground black pepper. Add herbs to pot, simmer to combine flavors and puree either using a handheld immersion blender or pureeing in batches in a food processor or blender. Soup will be very thick and creamy. To serve, pour into warmed bowls with a swirl of sour cream on top, if desired.
If anyone has any other ideas of what to do with tomatoes that can't be used for canning and too many to just eat up on sandwiches, please let me know. Does anyone just freeze chopped tomatoes with the peeling still on? And if so, when you end up thawing and using, is having the peeling included not going to be the best in a recipe? Thanks for any ideas.